SA Covid-19 variant: Is it more dangerous than UK variant? Will the vaccines work on it? Experts weigh in

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The coronavirus has infected more than 85 million people globally by 5 January 2021.
The coronavirus has infected more than 85 million people globally by 5 January 2021.
Peter Zelei Images

Some international scientists have expressed concern that the new variant of the Covid-19 virus identified in South Africa, named 501.V2, may be more of a risk than the highly infectious UK variant.

On Monday, Reuters reported that British Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated that the variant, which has made its way to the UK, was a "very significant problem".

"I'm incredibly worried about the South African variant, and that's why we took the action that we did to restrict all flights from South Africa," Hancock told BBC Radio. This comes after Hancock said in December that the SA variant was a major factor in the UK's second wave of Covid-19 infections, News24 reported.

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